EuroVelo 11 East Europe Route crosses the whole interior of Finland from the fells of Lapland to Helsinki, bustling capital of Finland. This is a near 1600 km journey through wilderness areas and fells in Lapland, to the dazzling lake district in central Finland around the cities of Kuopio and Jyväskylä, the Lahti region with the splendour of Ice Age formations, and ending in the bustle of Helsinki and the metropolitan area.
The starting point on the border of Finland and Norway is Karigasniemi village. Cycling in between the 2 vast wilderness areas, Paistunturi and Muotkatunturi fells wilderness areas, you truly are alone with nature - and reindeer, arctic foxes, birds, and fowl. Cycling through Giellajohka and Kaamanen you arrive in Inari, the largest town in the area and providing an extensive range of services, museums, and activities. Siida (https://siida.fi/en/), the Sami museum and nature center, is worth a stop to learn more of the Sami culture and northern nature.
From Inari you head southward through Ivalo, Saariselkä, and Sodankylä to Rovaniemi, all with good services available. The Inari-Ivalo section is a beautiful cycle close to lakes and magnificent resting places. Ivalo is the administrative and commercial center of the municipality, by the Ivalojoki river, which the route follows. At Saariselkä you come to the area where there are open fells as far as the eye can see. These big hills used to be mountains before the Ice Age molded them round and perfect. There is a paved car route all the way to the top of the Kaunispää fell (438m), awarding you with a 360 degree view of the surroundings, the largest fell upland in Northern Europe.
The road south is called ”Kultainen tie” (=Golden road) named after the history of the area. The first gold rush took place on the Ivalojoki River in 1869 and the rush to Lemmenjoki River close to Inari in 1945. Men returning from the war were tempted to try their luck in the goldfields. With good luck you can pan your own gold at the Gold Prospector Museum in Tankavaara, 30 km south from Saariselkä, the only international museum in the world displaying the past and present of gold panning and prospecting.
Rivers keep you company as you cycle southward. You first join with the river Kitinen, the fourth largest river in Finland, as it flows towards Sodankylä, from where it leads you onwards towards Rovaniemi and crossing of the Arctic Circle. From Rovaniemi the Kemijoki river in turn takes you to Kemi, at the northern edge of the Bothnian Bay. The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish water areas in the world, and its drainage area is about four times larger than its surface area, and as you cycle around the bay you cross many rivers that contribute fresh water to the bay. Cycling around the Bay you arrive at Oulu, the fifth largest city in Finland. You then head inland again and around lake Oulujärvi.
Remember that Finland is the land of thousands of lakes – 168 000 to be exact! So you probably guess the scenery on your way through the lake district taking you to Kuopio, in the middle of the lake district, and then to Jyväskylä, city of Alvar Aalto architecture and home to two of Finland’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From Jyväskylä the EuroVelo 10 route will offer you a beautiful route where you cycle on the 9 km long Pulkkilanharju esker ridge that dates back to the Ice Age and over 3 bridges with sweeping views to lake Päijänne. The area around Lahti is full of these interesting Ice Age formations!
Arriving at Helsinki, capital of Finland, and the neighboring cities of Espoo and Vantaa, you are in the bustling metropolitan area with approximately 1.5 million inhabitants. Here the Baltic Sea is very much present. The Helsinki city area has over 300 islands, many of which are accessible by a bridge or a ferry. The Suomenlinna-Sveaborg Sea Fortress is a Unesco World Heritage Site located just a short 15 minute ferry crossing over from the Market Place and Old Market Hall.
Summer months between May and August are at these geographical levels full of light and the temperatures perfect for cycling. There is great variation in the temperatures between the northern and southern part of this route. Read more from the Need to know section.
Click here for the map of this beautiful route through the diverse landscapes of Finland and plan your next cycling holiday acquainting yourself with the Sámi culture and way of life, the natural formations of the Ice Age, UNESCO heritage sites, and charming cities and towns along the EuroVelo 11 route!
The trail notes for this EuroVelo 11 route are under development.
Is this trip for you?
The EuroVelo 11 eoute is paved, with only very short unpaved sections.The route runs in the wilderness and fell areas of Lapland and more rural areas in central Finland. The distances between services, for example more varied accommodation alternatives, are in some sectors long.
The route is suitable for various types of bicycles and those wanting to ride long distances over continuous days. However, due to the almost non existing shoulders of the Finnish roads and the route running on main and secondary roads, it is also hazardous and requires extra caution. The full extent of the EuroVelo 11 route in Finland is not recommended to children and juniors. Local areas closer to main cities/towns are more suited for families.
There are bike rental and service shops in the major cities, but you need to know how to carry out minor repairs on your bike. Ebike is definitely a nice and easy option for those not in tip-top shape.
On this route there are not that many options for alternative routes. This is because the route is a linear route.
The main means of making route options are
deciding whether to cycle from north to south or south to north
deciding how you wish to split the route into day trips suitable for you according to the accommodation and services you prefer and how long distances you like to ride in a day
deciding whether you want to tour the whole route or only one or some of the sections along the route
deciding whether you want to add on some of the surrounding national routes as well as connecting EuroVelo routes
We recommend going from north to south!
You can connect to and from the Finnish part of the Eurovelo 11 Route by train, bus or plane - or even by cruise ships sailing daily between Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and Estonia. You can also continue your cycling on the EuroVelo 10 route either east or west. In the west, Turku and Vaasa offer you connections by cruise boats across to Sweden or the Åland Islands.
Under Logistics (linkki) you find more information on the means to get to and from each end of the route.
The more detailed trail notes are under development.
The number of days you spend on this route is dependent on your cycling speed and preferred day length, time you wish to spend on visiting the various sights, and in some cases maybe weather conditions and resting days allowing for time off the saddle. Adjusting the distances to your own pace gives you the chance to feel the small things: the noises, the colors, the smells and the unexpected around the bend. Take the opportunity to stop to enjoy the local culture and gastronomy.
Each area has its distinct characteristics and cycling only parts of the route will, nevertheless, give you a beautiful tour in Finland.
There are many local, national bicycle routes in southern Finland, which you can easily access.
The Bikeland.fi web pages offer an extensive map of these routes: https://ridewithgps.com/embeds?type=region&id=40508 Click on the route and from the pop-up window select ”View route” for more details also in English.
To name a few, there is the stunning 250km ring route through the Turku Archipelago, 73 km Kymijoki route and 88 km Coast of Fortresses route in the Kotka-Hamina-Loviisa area, and the South by Cycle route with its many small Coastal Routes in southwestern Finland.
EUROVELO -REITTIEN OPASTUS- JA KEHITYSTYÖ ON KESKEN
EuroVelo 10 -reitin maastoon merkintä on vielä osittain kesken Vaalimaa-Vaasa välillä, joten suosittelemme hyödyntämään navigoinnissa ladattavaa GPX-jälkeä. Reitistä ei ole vielä saatavilla reittikuvauksia, mutta karttamme avulla voit tutustua reittiin ja sen varrella oleviin pyöräily-ystävällisiin palveluihin. Päivitämme reittikuvauksia syksyn ja talven 2022-2023 aikana yhteistyössä reitin kuntien kanssa.
Kouvolan harjumaisemien hiekkatiet ja Jyräänjoen kosket
Kumpuilevat metsätiet järvineen Kouvolan Enäjärven kyläraitilta Sippolan taiteilijakylään
Korjärven laavu, uimaranta ja sauna
Strömforsin, Fiskarsin, Billnäsin, Forsbyn ruukkikylät sekä Mustion linna vesistöineen ja palveluineen
Loviisan, Tammisaaren, ja Porvoon vanhojen kaupunkien väririkkaat puutalokujat kahviloineen ja ravintoloineen
Yöt suojelumetsässä Sipoonkorven ja Nuuksion kansallispuistoissa sekä Västerbyn ulkoilualueella
Keravan- ja Vantaanjoen varsien hiekkatieväylät koskelta koskelle
Lohjanharjun ja Lohjanjärven reitit
Dagmarin lähde ja suojelualue Hankoniemessä
Hangon polut, hiekkarannat ja pitsihuvilat